Jane Fields has idolized her older brother, John, since they were children. She follows in his footsteps as a drummer, and when he suffers a psychotic break as a young man, she follows him into the bewildering landscape of mental illness.
Surrendering to John’s schizophrenic and elliptical logic, Jane assumes her older brother’s identity, and begins to make a life for herself as a young man named John. Every day, Jane interacts with the world as John, and then comes home to tell her brother the stories of his own life, under the naïve and perhaps mad hope that these stories will help John remember and return to the self he lost. But in the act of being John, Jane runs the risk of becoming him. Jane soon identifies more strongly with the man she’s become than the overshadowed woman she once was. When John begins to demand that Jane give up certain aspects of the life she’s built under her assumed identity, particularly a romance, Jane’s double life becomes a house of cards that threatens to collapse. Jane and John are forced to confront the limits of their ability to control each other, and the world around them, through the stories they tellbut just how deep into mental illness can Jane slide?
Laura Krughoff is a fiction writer whose work has been appearing in literary magazines and journals over the past decade. Her stories have been published in prestigious American venues such as Threepenny Review, The Seattle Review, Washington Square Review, and Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, and internationally in the feminist Canadian magazine Room of One’s Own (now known as Room Magazine). She is a recipient of the Washington Square Prize for Fiction for her story “This Is One Way,” a Pushcart Prize for her story “Halley’s Comet” and a runner-up for a Nelson Algren Award from Chicago Tribune for her story “The Beekeeper’s Son.” In 2011, she was a finalist for the University of Georgia Press Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. She also writes and performs non-fiction with the story-telling performance collaborative Second Story. Laura is a writer, scholar, and teacher, living in Chicago, Illinois.